Parked 32 Years Ago: 1970 Dodge Charger 500

Any way you look at it, the second-generation Dodge Charger (1968-1970) was a fantastic looking car. Though hyped in films by the likes of “Bullit”, “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry” and the TV series, “The Dukes of Hazzard”, the Charger was strong enough in its own right to not need silver screen promotion. This 1970 example is a “500” model though that didn’t mean, by 1970, what it had meant in prior model years. This car is worth a closer look; it is located in St. Louis, Missouri and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $10,000, nineteen bids tendered so far. 

The original Charger 500 was a model modified for high-bank, Nascar racing. It was a performance version with a non-recessed front grille and rear window and powered by either a 426 CI Hemi or 440 CI engine. There were supposed to be 500 copies built in ’68 to homologate the exterior design changes, per Nascar rules, but the total count came up short. By 1970, the 500 was just an upgraded model above the entry-level Charger, offering bucket seats, an electric clock, wheel lip moldings, and “500” nameplates front and back as standard equipment.

The seller describes this barn find Charger as follows, “The car is mostly complete, solid frame rails will need patchwork or replacement of the interior floor pans and trunk pan”. He further adds, “Fenders, doors, trunk lid hood may be useable or repairable”. The finish is listed as FT6 with a tan top and Saddle Tan interior. The body is pretty banged up with rust, dents and there is something going on around the rear window. And that tan top is absent revealing the leaded C-pillar seams and lots of surface rust. While Mopars of this era are very desirable cars, the bodies didn’t hold up worth a darn. Winter driving and time spent in wet climates did them in, quickly. Some of the trim is missing, along with the backup lights, and the grille, which is in reasonable shape, is missing some of its centerpieces.  Reproductions are available, but they’re expensive. The bumper chrome is a bit weak too, not to mention claims of straight alignment. The slotted aluminum wheels and cheap wide, white letter tires are a nod to the ’70s.

While originally powered by a 230 gross HP, 318 CI V8, this Charger is now in possession of a 270 HP, 1966 vintage, 383 CI, two-barrel carburetor equipped engine – an unusual choice. It does run, well enough for yard driving but is not road worthy. The seller states that brake work is needed.  An A727 Torqueflite, three-speed automatic transmission is behind the “B” series engine and it is connected to an 8.25″ open differential. It is stated that this car has been off the road since 1988, so in spite of yard maneuvers, the powertrain will require, at the least, some maintenance and perhaps part replacement too.

Moving inside makes one want to move back outside right away. A Paris bordello called, they want their chairs back. What a mess, seriously, there’s no telling where those seats originated but they are a far cry from the original saddle tan interior referenced above. The dreck continues with the destroyed dash pad (looks like a weasel has been chewing on it) and instrument panel – which is from a ’68 model Charger. The carpet is missing but at least you can review the floors which we were previously told would need to be either patched or replaced. This is an A/C equipped car but the belt is off of the compressor, so it’s a safe assumption that it is non-working.

The more one digs, the less there is here to like. The seller suggests, “This is a 70 Charger that you can build any way you want to, with the new 5.7, 6.1, 6.4 Hemi and Hellcat engine swap kits that are available these days, the possibilities are endless”. The engine swap would be the least of any worries, the worker on this Dodge is with the body, trim, floors, and interior. I say GLWTA, how about you?

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    Wow! Where to begin? PROS: It runs, is less rusty and cheaper (currently) than some recent listings. CONS: non original engine, mismatched interior seats and instruments, crusty undercarriage, beaten, battered & rusty body, missing trim/lights, etc. IMO, one would do better to look for a car in better shape…at $10k currently. It’s going to cost at least DOUBLE that just to get this one into decent shape. A few years ago, $10k got me a nice car with an almost perfect interior..times have sure changed! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 10
  2. Joe Machado

    Not a Mopar compressor. Lives down the street from where it was built.
    To think I bought a 70 RT for $500 in 87. Rust free. Amazing today

    Like 4
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      And you should see the prom queen….from the 80’s – easy then and today we’d pass…….

      Like 11
    • Chris M.

      Hard to remember all those Mopars you’ve owned eh Cool Joe Machado? Seems like you’ve had just about every one that was made! But what else could we expect from Cool Joe Machado. Just a cool dude livin the cool life lol

      Like 3
  3. Troy s

    Best looking part of the whole car here are the wheels,,, and they are Not part of the sale.

    Like 6
  4. Ian F

    The prices for 68-70 Chargers is just nuts these days. I’d honestly be surprised if it sells for under $20K, which to me is simply insane.

    I really want one of these cars, but not that much.

    Like 1
  5. Motorhead440

    Pass. You can pick it up as a driver in 2 years for 30k after the new owner does a quick resto to an RT “tribute” and installs a 440 with a dana. Then loses interest.

  6. Clement Feldman

    Too much work and too many $$$. You’d need to turn it into an R/T tribute to make it interesting.
    The market is softening for all of these muscle cars as the Boomers age and retire.
    Definitely a pass.

  7. Esare

    I’d stroke and poke the 383.Add aluminum heads and intake.Purple shaft cam.Rebuild the 727 and rear end.Repair the rust and paint the whole car including the bumpers in Metallic charcoal grey.Black vinyl top with blackout treatment for the trim.Restore the interior with NOS parts as much as possible.Dics brakes front and rear and drive the crap out of it.

  8. Steve Bush Member

    Winning bid of $12,500.00 lodged with under 2 minutes to go in the auction, which ended at 6:55 cdt. There were 29 bids.

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